Solidarity is preparing to take legal action against the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, following statements she made through a media statement.
“The minister states in her statement that nursery schools must first obtain approval or certification from the department before they can open. This is untrue.
“Any school that believes it can open safely can do so in accordance with the recent court decision,” explained Anton van der Bijl, head of labor law services at Solidarity.
According to Solidarity, he regards the minister’s actions in this regard as contempt of court ruling and is preparing a reminder to the department which will require the minister to immediately withdraw her statements and allow schools to open.
“The minister’s actions expose her to possible prison sentences and we are prepared to demand them, if necessary. The court delivered its verdict and the minister is not in a position to disregard its terms, ”says Van der Bijl.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zulu issued a statement welcoming the Pretoria High Court ruling on nursery schools and daycare centers that could reopen.
Judge Hans Fabricius was able to reopen centers for early childhood development on Monday.
The court ruling follows after months of uncertainty over when nursery schools could reopen. Solidarity’s social worker vocational guild and the Solidarity School Support Center (SOS) approached the court because there is still no set date for the reopening of private nursery schools and daycare centers.
The minister said in Tuesday’s statement that nursery schools and daycare centers are subject to the appropriate and prescribed safety measures under the Disaster Management Act that have been introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19.
It was further stated that each early childhood development center is responsible for having the safety measures and procedures at the various centers ready before they can reopen. This includes acquiring the necessary materials and training staff. Centers that have not taken the necessary measures cannot reopen, the minister argues.